Scarlet Bond

By: Ibuki/Yoli the Wonderer

Disclaimer: Nope! Don't own Sonic and crew! Yadda yadda yadda and stuff!

Rouge tapped her foot on the floor a moment, pondering. She now stood at the door to an apartment. She'd been pacing back and forth in front of it for the past several minutes (though it seemed like hours to her), contemplating over what to do. However, she had had little success with actually summoning the courage to knock. Whenever she came close, it just didn't feel like it was the right time. Either that or maybe her doubt was getting to her. A combination of the two she had concluded. Still, whatever the reason, she had not found the right motive to get her to summon him. Sighing, she wondered if she should just give up right then and there and try again next time. There was always next year, she thought. Stretching her wings, she turned, sliding her gloved hands across the railing before grasping it tightly. Her eyes caught sight of the pale full moon hanging in the sky and she gave another sigh. Another time... Fanning her wings out, she readied herself to take off only to feel a hand on her shoulder. Instantly, she spun around, about to give her intruder what for only to find...

"Shadow..." Her cheeks flushed a deep scarlet, firstly from the fact that she had almost slugged him in the gut and secondly because they were so close, their noses almost touching. She quickly tore backwards, hitting hard into the railing. Rouge hissed from the new found pain before straining herself to look at the hedgehog. He was staring at her, a trace of something... different in his eyes. Concern? Well, whatever it was it had only poured into them for a split second before dying away. Frowning, she quickly righted herself, doing her best to show no more pain. Her eyes met his again and she smirked slightly, smothering her shock with the smile. Shadow eyed her questioningly.

"What are you doing here...?" The usual monotone dragged within his words. Definitely the same old Shadow from space colony ARK. She still marveled over how he had managed to survive that fall. It seemed impossible to her and Rouge had taken time off from her usual work to mourn, knowing that if she didn't the burden would have only weakened her skills as a spy and sent her straight into danger. However, when word came that they had found a certain jet black hedgehog in the ocean, not far off the mainland, and was then being hospitalized not far from her own apartment, she could hardly believe it and was quick to head that way. The others had gathered there as well and they all found him, to their astonishment, alive and pulling through quite well. Sure, he had several gashes and burns from the fall, but that was definitely to be expected and the doctors announced a full recovery would be in approximately six months. During that time, she of all the members of the crew had spent the most time looking after their furry companion and a silent bond grew...

That had been a while ago though, and people changed. Shadow lived in his own apartment and, seeing as he was much better, she didn't have any real meaningful reason to visit thus, for fear the others would figure out her real intentions, she visited less and less. Still, deep inside she wondered, hoped it to be the latter, that he hadn't forgotten. Slowly, she brought her gaze up to meet the hedgehog's, the wheels in her head yet to stop spinning as thoughts encircled the depths of her mind. The concentration broke as she noted that he wasn't looking at her, but downwards. Following his gaze, she blushed a bright crimson and deftly snagged the package behind her back.

"What is that?" Rouge visibly gulped.

"Oh.. Nothing... Nothing at all..."

"Rouge, tell me." His scarlet eyes glimmered in a mysterious sense of curiosity. He wasn't angry, but she was still unsure.

"Well... You see Shadow... I figured since we were... good friends... and, well... I..." Rouge slowly brought the package out from behind her, her hands shaking slightly. The hedgehog rose a brow as he looked at the gift, decored in enchanting pastel roses. Rouge chewed on her lower lip, praying to Mobius that he wouldn't find her odd for doing such a thing. Does he even know what today is about? she thought. But Shadow gave the tiniest smile and took the gift though with some hesitation, nodding slightly as if to answer her unasked question. The bat couldn't help but smile herself out of clear relief.

"...Thank you." The ultimate lifeform backed off then as Rouge began stretching her wings once more in anticipation to leave. As she was returning her gaze to the sky, she felt a hand clutch her wrist firm yet gently. She turned to meet Shadow's warm crimson eyes. He slowly raised a hand and she nearly jumped as she felt it on side of her face, delicately tracing her jaw line up to her ear where she felt something cool perch atop it. Her own hand traveled up to feel soft petals dance with her fingers and yet another ravishing blush filled her cheeks. As she looked to his face, she saw his smile growing and hers did in turn, intertwined with her surprise. Then he leaned forward, pressing his lips to her cheek and leaving a single soft kiss upon it before turning to head back into his apartment. Rouge touched a hand to the spot where his lips had brushed against only a moment ago, red as the last rays of sunset. She smiled and then was just about to turn again when Shadow paused in mid-stride.

"...You wouldn't mind staying a while... would you? Could share a few drinks... Catch up on things..." Rouge looked to him for a moment, tracing his eyes with her own, noticing the look from before...

"...I suppose I could." Shadow's expression may have remained the same, but his eyes had ignited in a brand new flame. As he guided her into his apartment, Rouge couldn't help but grin mildly, glad that her heart that had longed for this prevailed over the mind that could have forever thrown this chance away. People change, sure, but there's still always a possibility, a door, whispering to be opened.

REVIEW! It's good for the soul!

Dromar: And her self-esteem!


Side Note: I'm thinking of just plain discontinuing 'If Only Possible' and 'The Return of Shadow'. For one, I think they personally SUCK. For another, I just don't have the motivation to write them and even when I do, well, they just don't seem to come out right. What do you guys think?